Square – Credit Card Payments Made Easy for Small Businesses, Food Trucks, & Me

I wonder why everyone doesn’t just pick up a Square when they visit the Apple Store. You don’t know what Square is? Guess you haven’t paid via credit card through your local food truck. Plus Time named Square one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010.

Big Wheel Taking Orders

Tony from Big Wheel Provisions and Catering summed up Square perfectly as a business owner:

If you own any Apple or Android product, go and get one!  They are free!  Their customer service is top top top notch, and blows any, and I mean ANY, customer service I have ever received as a business owner, out of the water completely.  Across all boards.  If you have a business, and you aren’t running square, I have no idea why not.

Big Wheel Provisions uses Square for taking credit card payments for all three parts of it’s business, including Catering, Farmers Market, and Big Wheel Provisions Food Truck. Definitely find Big Wheel for a bite to eat! I have always enjoyed the Lake Lily Food Cafe in Maitland. Check out variety of local Food Truck all in one beautiful location.

Here are just a few local trucks that take Credit Card via Square include: Big Wheel Provisions, Tree House Truck, Fro2Go, and Bruno’s Bites.

Square Logo Landscape

Square at a glance:

Square is the simplest way to accept credit cards. It’s easy to use and comes with a free credit card reader for your phone or iPad. Sign-up is quick. No complicated contracts, monthly fees, or merchant account. When you swipe cards with Square there is just one fee: 2.75%. Download the free app from the Android Market or iTunes App Store. Square is currently available in the U.S. (https://squareup.com/)

Key Reasons to Get a Square:

  • FREE Credit Card Reader: Get a pocket-sized credit card reader that plugs into your phone’s or iPad’s audio jack. It’s available through https://squareup.com/ upon signing up or visit your local Apple Store; pay $10 and get your $10 back once you link your bank account.
  • Easy to use and easy on the eyes App available for your Android, iPhone, iPad, or iPad Touch.
  • Transparent pricing for all credit cards swipes at 2.75% with no monthly fees or contracts, plus it’s automatically deposits to your bank account on a daily basis. This includes VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
  • Safe and secure for both Square business users and customers using the app.

Quickie on How Square Works:

Once you setup your account information online and download the app, you are ready to swipe.

Square Payment

Just enter the amount to charge the card swiped or select the items purchased. It’s ready for the person to sign and verify the amount charged. They sign right on the screen and can have a receipt emailed or text messaged to them. A tip can be applied to the charges at this time too.

Square_SigningHands

Small Business Use:

Square - Know Your BusinessTony from Big Wheel Provisions and Catering stated, “Square is a great choice because whether it is on the food truck, with the iPad, or at the farmers market or catering, with an iPhone, all of the employees have the ability to take payments from cards and be distributed to the proper accounts based upon which segment of the business they are working that day.”

Square could help keep finance separate and allow owners to easily download full reports on daily basis giving you an insight on sales patterns and inventory. Owners could easily track what type of new products they need to prepare for the next day based on the sale from the night before.

Small businesses taking credit cards using Square might be able to expand their services, get paid immediately upon providing a service or product, and sell more than with traditional methods alone.  Any business can hope the 2.75% fees was lower but compared to other companies it’s very reasonable, plus doesn’t have a minimum monthly amount or contract attached.

Personal Use:

Imagine the ability to take credit cards at yard sales, selling an item on Craig’s List, or getting a payment from your friend who never has cash for the concert tickets you are selling them.

You could easily use this device to help start building a small business by taking credit cards for tutoring, developing a website, mowing a lawn, or other jobs done, which you before could only take cash, check, or a PayPal payment (if you were lucky enough to have someone PayPal savvy).

Security Concerns:

Tony from Big Wheel Provisions and Catering discussed, “We haven’t had any concerns yet with the security issue from customers, which I think comes from them seeing that we are swiping, rather than manually entering numbers. We get some weird faces when we ask them if they want us to text them a receipt.  More often than not, people like paying with their card just to say that they have done it!  I would say that 95+% of first time users go out of their way to comment about how awesome it is, and I would say that about a third of those who swipe using the Square hardware / software brag about us or it to their friends that are in line with them.”

Square states they meets and exceeds all industry-standard security practices to ensure safety for everyone involved.

Network Concerns:

Don’t forget Square works off your mobile device. It’s important to have either a good WiFi or 3G signal to be able to take payments. Tony from Big Wheel Provisions and Catering suggested to get a Mobile Hot Spot for WiFi services to be able to connect multiple devices, instead of paying the data fees for your multiple iPhones or iPads, especially if you will be using multiple devices at one location.

Articles & Reviews of Square:

Small Businesses ‘Square’ Away Client Bill Pay – NPR

Square lets iPads, iPhones, Andriods read credit cards – USA Today

The New Money – Technology Review

NOTE: My blog was mention on the Eat Street Blog: On the Go: Food trucks on the forefront of tech innovation

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1 Comment on “Square – Credit Card Payments Made Easy for Small Businesses, Food Trucks, & Me

  1. We started using SQUARE mid Jan 2012 It was like a dream come through . We were one of the first high volume Small business’s to use the Square system on our new I pad. Apple ‘s officers came down to see it in action, Square Called us (after a week of high sales) and gave us a welcome . Then about five days ago the dream became a NIGHTMARE . In the middle of transactions The app sent us error Signs . so easy just give them a call =YOU CAN NOT CALL THEM. So off went dozens of e mails. 2 days latter we get one back Reload the program. Now this Cafe is in the Hart of Williamsburg Brooklyn, Tons of soft /hardware Nurds just about live here.I the Cafe. The Problem is on their end . me and the nerds did everything , Call Apple, Called Verizion, all said it is on there end. The email response from SQUARE Try to load it up on your cell Phone. We have it on three of our cell phones and now all the nerds have it on their phones. THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS BAD BAD BAD. Yes Now Pay Pal the E bay Wonder Looks real Nice Now. And Yes You can Call Them.

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